Writing Bravely Without Conscience

claude debussy quote

WRITING IS A strange beast. Numerous doubts can send your writing into the shadows, overcast by various reasons as to why those words in front of you, few or numerous, are inadequate, lacking in any number of variables from character to plot. That beast of doubt can appear any time during the creative process, and with experience you learnt to shut it up by feeding it with silence and more words, hoping it will retreat.

I think it will be ever present in some guise or another, never fully vanquished, but the main topic I want to discuss is conscious writing. Writing that is hindered by all of those faces and voices telling you, you can’t write that! Having writing read on such a public platform as the world wide web, (potentially) accessible by billions (unlikely) isn’t necessarily the issue. In fact I find it is the people I know that can cast an unwanted take on my creative process. It is easy to get into the dreaded thought-loop of ruminating upon what someone might think of a post, of a story, of a topic…

Don’t! Easier said that done however. We are all influenced by those we know. Writing is open to interpretation too of course, adding another layer of insecurity, like any wordsmith needs it. Writing honestly, without holding back, without worrying about losing followers or offending someone is the ticket to individuality, freedom and originality. Being brave, although it sounds pathetic in the context of sitting in front of a laptop, is what makes writing brilliant, spine tingling, memorable! Communicating words with conviction and passion only comes with freedom from those who might doubt you, who would think less of you, who might question your very character because of a series of sentences. That is what expression means. But to quiet those voices, to hush them to sleep with a lullaby, while simultaneously writing words they might not approve – might being the operative word – is when writing really comes alive, if it was previously gagged or restrained.

mark-twain-quote truthWriting becomes fully realised when we write strictly from our own point of view offering a genuine part of our selves that hasn’t fallen victim to questioning or interrogation before finding publication. It is easy to flippantly say I don’t care but we do. We shouldn’t, but we do. Every person I’ve ever met cares about their reputation, how they are perceived by others; it is integral to our existence, the human feedback loop. And us writers? Oh boy, we care a lot. Not necessarily in an egotistic or narcissistic way, just in terms of writing being an extension of ourselves, as easily injured as a hand or knee.

I could say go forth and shock. There’s no need for that. Just tell those doubting voices to STFU. Who writes the words? You do. Who think your thoughts? You do. Exactly. Expressing your opinion is essential. Do it. And I’ll try to do the same. Ultimately we can only censor ourselves.

And remember, there’s a reason why printed material, is the first thing to be fully controlled by dictatorships. You and I are ever so slightly dangerous!


lion around


Categories WritingTags , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

25 thoughts on “Writing Bravely Without Conscience

  1. This reminds me of a conversation I had yesterday about using my life experiences in my writing, and sure I do, but I am really afraid of using it to much and hurt those who stand close to me – family and friends. It’s a fine line and I’m not sure if I want to cross it – maybe push it a bit further.

    1. Ultimately you have to ask yourself, is it really going to hurt people?
      Hurt people recover.
      There is always anonymity as in changing names, locations etc. But if there’s a story burning away, don’t let it go out!

      1. Since I’m into the more philosophical story-telling it’s fairly “easy” to mess with happenings from reality.

        I never set out to write stuff to hurt anyone but still, I can’t get over the reality that someone might take it personal.

        I guess we writers has to let go of that fear and just write the stories within us. Easier said than done though.

      2. I think if someone took it personally, that’s their perogative. Depending on the story, if the writer was hurt by them, then them being in a story shouldn’t be a shock.
        I don’t advocate trashing someone for the sake of it, but any strong feelings that lead to a story about people/persons is fully justified and any guilt felt will dimish in time.

  2. A while back, I seriously considered toning down what I write, due to adult situations and language in some of my posts, then decided not to censor myself. People can read or not read, that is their choice.
    Be true to yourself.
    Great post, Lion.

    1. I’m glad you didn’t.
      “People can read or not read, that is their choice.” – exactly.

  3. Great thoughts. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Great encouragement for aspiring writers here. I agree, the fear that others may not like your work can be crippling sometimes, but we must remember that these are OUR words, first and foremost.

    1. Definitely. It’s so easy to write as if there is an audience. I find when I get into that headspace, my writing suffers and becomes policed.

  5. I love that quote!

    1. Cheers Scout. Thanks for dropping by πŸ™‚

      1. My pleasure, Rob πŸ™‚

      2. Lol, that’s what happens when I reply to comments after barely opening my eyes. I’m sorry! Do you use a name on your blog? I love your lion profile image.

      3. Thank you, Fionn. I’m awake now πŸ™‚

  6. These are the words that every true, budding writer needs to hear. And they need to hear such things constantly, urging them beyond that point where fear and trepidation hold them back. Because once you cross that threshold, once the need to please people who are not YOU is shoved to the side, the relief of being able to say what you really want to say is incredibly satisfying…

  7. Well said. Dare to be dangerous. Excellent advice.

  8. Well said, mate!

  9. You don’t know how much I needed this. This was an excellent piece.

    1. I’m glad it resonated with you. Thank you.

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